Paying to Play

August 18, 2017

Participation rates amongst high school-aged students are at an all-time high, but what happens when high schools struggle to support their athletic programs? Many high school athletic departments work within a very tight budget and may not have extra funds available to continuously travel and compete in every sport. As the high school fall sports season kicks off, some athletic departments are getting creative to financially support themselves.


The News-Review reports on high schools in Oregon turning towards participation fees as a measure to raise extra revenue. The fees vary, based on school district, but Roseburg High School charges $150 per sport while Days Creek Charter School only charges $30 per sport. Although there is a maximum amount a household can pay at many schools, the costs are not insignificant.  


One way to offset the costs issued by high schools is through need-based scholarships, though these are not widely available. Only one school appeared to offer scholarships (Deer Creek Charter School) in inquiries sent by the News-Review.


By requiring athletes to pay a fee to participate, the schools and school districts are deterring students from athletics, rather than encouraging them, despite the overall increase in participation rates. Instead of pushing the cost of participating onto the athletes and their parents, athletic departments can better monetize the facilities they currently own.

GymDandy can help athletic departments earn extra revenue by renting out their athletic space. While a gymnasium or baseball diamond sits empty, that time could be better spent renting the facility out to a local youth organization for a small cost. Even the smallest increase in revenue can help athletic departments reduce participation costs so they can continue to provide athletic opportunities for all students!




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